MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Sep. 3, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Chin to Host All-Day Census Completion Event

Council Member Margaret Chin (Photo credit:
Council Member Margaret Chin

Today, Councilmember Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) will be partnering with Smith Houses to hold an all-day Census Completion Fair.

The deadline for the 2020 Census is on Sep. 30, and New York’s response rate is still lagging behind the national average. According to the CUNY Mapping Service’s Census Tracking Project, the statewide response rate is 61 percent – compared to the national average of 64.9 percent – as of Aug. 31. To address the issue, Chin’s office and Smith Houses are hosting a free outdoor event to guide attendees through the Census completion process. Those who complete the Census will receive a free gift bag afterwards.

The event will take place today from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Smith Houses Central Courtyard, 21 St. James Pl.

Kavanagh Remains Skeptical on CDC’s New Eviction Limitation

State Senator Brian P. Kavanagh (source:
State Senator Brian P. Kavanagh

Last Tuesday, State Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-Lower East Side) released a statement after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it plans to limit evictions during the pandemic.

TCDC announced that it will limit evictions for individuals making up to $99,000 per year and couples making up to $198,000 until Dec. 31. Kavanagh said the action could be helpful for states that don’t already have eviction moratoria in place. However, he expressed concern that the plan only limits, rather than outright eliminates, evictions for Americans in that income range.

“While we welcome any assistance from the federal government to help mitigate the public health and economic crises we face due to COVID-19, this step by the CDC will leave a lot of people unprotected, and absent further action, many evictions would be permitted to proceed in spite of the CDC’s action,” said Kavanagh. “I will continue to advocate for additional measures through legislation and executive orders, as needed, to ensure that we do everything in our power to keep New Yorkers safe and secure in their homes, now and through the end of this crisis.”

Johnson Voices Mixed Feelings About School Reopening Delay

Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)
Council Member Corey Johnson

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) released a statement on Tuesday after Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that New York has postponed school reopenings to Sep. 21.

Johnson approved of the measure on its own, calling it a step in the right direction. However, he also expressed disappointment in the Mayor for taking as long as he did to make the announcement.

“The Mayor’s decision to delay school re-openings to September 21st is a step in the right direction,” said Johnson. “Nothing is more important than safety, and I am glad we are prioritizing the health of students, teachers and school staff. Sadly, this common-sense measure should have been announced sooner to better allow school staff and families to plan properly for the academic year, something I and many of my colleagues urged the Administration to do in August.

“Instead, Mayor de Blasio dragged his feet while parents and educators fretted about how to make the impossible work, waiting until a week before school is scheduled to provide clarity for our school community. We live in uncertain times. Everyone is on edge. This type of indecision only fuels confusion. We know our City’s principals and teachers will work very hard to ensure schools are ready by September 21st, but they will need better guidance from the Department of Education (DOE) to adequately prepare and best protect our students.”

Espaillat, Rangel, CUNY Leaders Announce Funding for New Transportation and Training Institute at CCNY

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Photo credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx), former U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D), City College (CCNY) President Vincent Boudreau and CCNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez announced that the City University of New York (CUNY) is investing $400,000 in a new transit system and infrstructure training program at CCNY.

The investment is part of an ongoing effort to bring transportation and construction jobs to the neighorhoods of Harlem, Inwood and Upper Manhattan.

“For generations, the communities of Northern Manhattan and the Bronx have been largely left out of the lucrative economic benefits of major infrastructure projects,” said Espaillat. “Knowing this, and in expectation of forthcoming megaprojects like the Second Avenue Subway extension into East Harlem, Congressman Rangel and I endeavored to bring a minority-focused, affordable transportation and infrastructure training institute to CCNY with the aim of equipping the local community with the means to attain highly-technical, stable, union jobs, and finally capitalize on the cascading benefits of infrastructure investment.”

Brewer Calls on Shea to Remove Barricades Surrounding Manhattan Precincts

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (Photo source: US Departmetn of Labor, CC BY 2.0)
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) urged Police Commissioner Dermot Shea to take down barricades surrounding Manhattan’s police precincts.

The barricades first went up months ago, when Manhattan was facing civil unrest due to citywide protests. However, she said, the City has since calmed down, and the barricades are no longer necessary. Furthermore, according to an inspection conducted by her office, 19 of 22 precincts in Manhattan have barricades that impede pedestrian or vehicular movement.

“These barricades do block pedestrian and vehicular traffic at a time when public outdoor space is more vital than ever,” Brewer wrote in a letter. “They have also exacerbated the hardship felt by small businesses, forcing some to shutter their doors.

“I believe we can meet the City’s security requirements while fully respecting broader public safety concerns.”

Read the full letter here.